CHAPTER SIX
THE ETHICS OF CIVILIZATION

COMMUNITY IS SOMETIMES A FACT, ALTHOUGH POSSIBLY AN obscure fact. But we are looking for an imperative. If we were to state the theory as an imperative, we should try to express the idea that all wills ought to share a common purpose. We should say that the ideal would be a condition where all men coöperated in the service of a commonly understood and accepted purpose and that, therefore, every man's duty here and now is to do what he can to create such a condition. Our fundamental law of purpose would be to work for a universal purpose. To such a law our purposes should conform, regardless of the apparent irrationality of events and consequences.

Community too Abstract Our moral feelings will not reject such an imparative, yet in it they will still be far from complete expression. For granting that we ought to aim at a universal purpose, we must still ask, What ought to be the content of that universal purpose? We extend our relations by establishing particular common purposes which involve particular lines of conduct. Is it entirely indifferent to moral theory what particular purposes and processes we establish?

To the theory of community, at any rate, this is a matter of indifference, for all that its imperative requires is that there should be a common purpose, a harmony of willing. It cannot guide us in deciding what the content of a common purpose ought to be. A common purpose may establish a community of men hunting, or playing cards; a pastoral or a medieval or an industrial community. That it have the charac-

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